Norway provided an all-time high of 39.5 billion kroner in development aid in 2020

Dag-Inge UlsteinPhoto: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB

The total sum amounts to 1.11 % of Norway’s gross national income (GNI).

“The GNI target is a meaningful way to motivate more countries to increase their development assistance efforts and is important for ensuring a long-term approach that enables us to reach our objectives. Norway’s allocations are more important than ever in light of the ongoing pandemic,” Minister of International Development Dag-Inge Ulstein said.

Norway’s record contribution was announced on Tuesday when the OECD released its preliminary figures for official development assistance (ODA) in 2020.

The OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) is responsible for compiling the overview. A total of 16 of the 30 DAC members increased their development assistance funding in 2020 compared to 2019. The OECD highlighted Norway as one of the countries that increased its contributions most.

“If there is one thing the coronavirus crisis has taught us, it is that nobody is safe until everybody is safe. And although the pandemic affects us all, it does not affect us equally. Once again, it is the poorest and most vulnerable people who are suffering the most. Norway has increased its assistance in this year of crisis in order to provide as much help as possible to people affected by the pandemic and other crises at the same time,” Ulstein said.

Adjusted for inflation and currency fluctuations, Norwegian development aid increased by 8.4% from 2019 to 2020. The increase is due in part to a rise in the provision of health aid. Other countries that showed an increase in assistance in 2020 included Hungary (+35,8%), Sweden (+17,1%), Slovakia (+16,3%), Germany (+13,7%), France (+10,9%), Switzerland (+8,8%), Finland (+8,1%), Iceland (+7,8%), and Canada (+7,7%).

Humanitarian funding

Norway’s humanitarian funding for 2020, which totaled NOK 5.5 billion, was channeled primarily through the UN, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, and Norwegian humanitarian organizations.

Countries that received the most humanitarian assistance from Norway last year included Syria and its neighboring countries, Yemen, and South Sudan.

“All the countries receiving high levels of humanitarian assistance from Norway have significant and growing humanitarian needs. The situation has been exacerbated by the pandemic, both directly and indirectly. Norway gives priority to protecting the civilian population and alleviating widespread food insecurity in its humanitarian efforts. The working conditions for humanitarian actors are extremely challenging in many of the current crisis situations, and it can be very difficult for humanitarian aid workers to gain access to those in need of help. This has made Norwegian humanitarian efforts more critical than ever because Norway as a donor has been able to exercise a high degree of flexibility,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide said.

Norway is one of few donor countries to reach the UN target of contributing 0.7 % of GNI to ODA. In 2020, six DAC countries reached this target. In addition to Norway, these were Denmark, Luxembourg, the UK, Sweden, and Germany. Norway has reached the UN target every year since 1976.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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